As always there is a balancing act to be done. On the one hand you have to deal with the immediate and the urgent; on the other you know that you cannot afford to ignore the important issues to do with improving teaching and learning. All departments will be at different stages of development so it is futile and possibly dangerous! to offer generic advice. My experience of working with hundreds of subject leaders is that they do need time to sit and talk through what they are making priorities. They need to plan carefully, involve the whole team, and to monitor closely. Schools  have found the following pointers helpful. They are in no particular order.

5 top priorities for history leaders at KS4

1. Get a clear view 

Get a clear view of standards in all the GCSE classes as quickly as you can and certainly by the end of the first term in Y10 and preferably by the end of October. At a school I was supporting recently, the subject leader had made a promising start to his new job as subject leader, but had inherited a regime with low expectations. Last year’s results had dipped and the

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